Lake Danao Park is located in Pacijan island of the Camotes island group in Cebu. This guitar-shaped lake redefines the meaning of color blue for me – its uniform deep shade of blue that dominates the lake is something to fall in love with and stay in love with for quite a long time. The blueness is only interrupted by the greenery that grows in the islets, which cannot help itself in kissing all that cobalt water that surrounds it, and the stark whiteness of the cotton candy-shaped clouds above. If that is not heaven, I do not know what is.
Filipinos love legends of anything, and Lake Danao did not escape the wild imagination of my ancestors. According to the story, there was once a married couple named Isyong and Isyang. Theirs must not have been a happy marriage as they constantly argued with each other. Fate intervened and they were cursed to be separated from each other. Water started to appear and encircled Isyong and upon looking at his wife, he realized that the same thing was happening to her. After the lake was formed, two islets took the place of Isyong and Isyang: Crocodile Islet and Snake Islet. These are the islets that are visible in Lake Danao Park.
Despite the tragic story of the doomed couple, Lake Danao is popularly known as Lovers’ Lake because of the romantic ambiance it exudes. The serenity of the place, the placid movement of the current, the soft gentle movement of air, and the panoramic view of all that lapis water contribute to the lake being a quintessential choice for romantics.
Lake Danao Park is also ideal for groups of friends who want to hang out and have fun or families who wish to bond as it provides several activities that cater to people of all ages and attributes. It offers kayak, boat pedal, sakanaw cruise, island visit, horseback riding, and swimming, to name a few. There is also a zip line that will open in summer of 2018. From the top of the zip line platform, one can see with amazement the 360-degree view of the area. It was jaw-dropping gorgeous. All that azul on one side (lake) and all that verde on the other side (trees between the entrance of the lake to the zip line platform). It was akin to watching a UAAP championship game between Ateneo and La Salle.
The entrance of Lake Danao Park is far from the lake itself, around a kilometer away, where there is a single bamboo that signals the guests to stop and pay the entrance fee of P15.00 (US $0.30) each. Close to this point are enterprising children who sell water, fruits, and flattened crisp cassava drizzled with coco jam. OMG. The single mouthful I had of it was so good, but the wind took it away from me a little too soon (we were riding a habal-habal (motorbike)).
For related entries, please read In and Around Camotes Islands, Cebu and Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort.
Lake Danao Park, taken from the pedal boat
The first activity I did (after I had washed the coco jam off my hands) was ride this horse. On the way to Lake Danao, I was excited because I thought I could ride a horse for a while in a wide open space. It turned out that the horseback ride was only around that tiny patch of green. The horse did not even like me. ☹ Horseback ride for more or less 5 minutes (hahaha), P50.00 (US $0.99). Photos by Juan
Our second activity was pedal boating for 30 minutes, P150.00 (US $2.96). This was the only clear and bright photo that Juan and I had. Our driver/tour guide/photographer did his best to take several photos while we were pedaling our butts off, but they were too far or too dark. Anyway, those 30 minutes seemed like a lifetime! Every time I took possession of the wheel, we careened to the opposite direction of where we were supposed to go. Juan and I returned to the platform thinking that our half an hour was over but oh-noes! we had 10 minutes left!!! Ohemgheee screamed my non-athletic out-of-shape legs.
TR and TJ (yes, Juan has his own version. Insert eyeroll here) on the boat. The photos are clear, albeit off-kilter, so Juan did not take these photos. Hehe.
Since their photos all day were not decent, TR and TJ planned to take the plunge. Seeing that they were positioned far from the edge, I arranged them.
This photo shows that they are a teeny weeny bit close to the edge, Juan placed them there. Owing to the fact that it is clear, I took the photo. ☺
After we took photos of our tiny versions.
Yup, still too afraid to go to the edge
Juan’s sexy back
In the center of Lake Danao Park, one can find the kayaks for rent
On the other side, near the pedal boats for rent, is this sakanaw. Sakanaw can hold up to 15 people and an hour sakanaw cruise costs P500.00 (US $9.88). We initially planned to rent a sakanaw to see the islets (maybe the Crocodile or Snake islet or both) but our habal-habal driver told us that we did not have time.
Our version of meditation
This photo was taken from the center platform. It was a little narcissistic for the sky to use the water as its mirror. ☺
Panoramic shot of Lake Danao. Photo by Juan
Pool for children. This one is next to one of the dining areas.
Swimming pool for adults and for children. This was taken from the not-yet-finished zip line platform. We asked permission from the management of Lake Danao Park if we could go up the platform, and the answer was positive.
View of the foliage beside Lake Danao Park
Top view of the left part of Lake Danao Park
Top view of the center part of Lake Danao Park
Top view of the right part of Lake Danao Park. Photo by Juan
Juan and I at the top!